I hate my life

A young man in a red jacket is standing in front of a parked car talking to a friend. He is saying, "I hate my life" and asking for advice.

It can be easy to look at other people and believe their lives are so much better than ours – which can lead to us comparing our own lives and feeling unhappy. It’s perfectly normal to feel down from time to time, but if you often find yourself feeling hopeless or thinking, ‘I hate my life’, it might be time to think about what to do about it. We’re here to help.

At some point in every person’s life, we come up against hardships that can make us feel like our lives are terrible. It can make us not want to do the things that we’d usually enjoy in our day to day lives, or even leave us thinking, ‘I hate my life’ – which can be especially depressing when you’re juggling thoughts about exams, jobs, friendships, family and romantic relationships.

“Life can be difficult sometimes,” says Helen Cleather from mental health charity SANE. “It’s normal to be impacted by it, but there are things we can do about it, too.”

If you’re stuck in a rut and it feels like things won’t ever get better, then it’s time to work out what’s wrong and take back some control. If you’re really struggling and need support right away, use our crisis text line to speak to our team immediately. We are here to support you.

Why do I hate my life?

Sometimes the feeling of hating your life passes quickly – other times it can hang around and make you feel depressed. The good news is there are things you can do to stop hating your life and even feel good about it. Start small, first try to figure out where the feelings are coming from.

  • Think about what it is that makes you so sad and angry. Can you pinpoint it?
  • Give yourself some space to work it out: get away from the TV and switch off your phone so you can actually sit, think and work out what’s going wrong.
  • Don’t be afraid to vent; write your feelings down, talk to a friend or do something physical, like screaming into a pillow. It’s better out than in.

I think I’m depressed, what can I do?

Sometimes, it’s impossible to shake the feeling that our lives are terrible. But if this feeling continues for a long time or gradually gets worse, then there’s a chance that you might be suffering from clinical depression.

If you’re feeling really awful and are not sure why, it might be worth speaking to your GP too. They may be able to introduce you to CBT or other types of therapy, which have really helped some people.

Learn more about depression.

Understand what you can change and what you can’t

When you’re feeling down, it can be difficult to see that sometimes you might be able to make small changes to your life that can really help how you feel about it. For example:

  • If you’re on the wrong career path, for example, consider changing your college course, or try to find a new job. You could try volunteering?
  • If your love life’s non-existent, you could sign up to some dating apps, or find things you love doing on your own
  • If you’re hanging around a group of people who don’t make you feel great about yourself, you could try distancing yourself from them for a bit

Of course no person is completely in control of their own life, as much as we’d all love to be. While it may be difficult, sometimes simply accepting that you can’t control every aspect of your life can be freeing and can even help your anxiety go away.

You don’t have to make huge changes, but even small things can make life more fun or purposeful. And if you can’t mend what’s bothering you, at least do other things that make you happy around it, like spending time with friends.

Talk to people about how you’re feeling

When you’re feeling down, it’s nearly impossible to see that everyone has their problems – and it’s a given that you won’t be the only one who hates their life sometimes.

It can really help to talk to someone, whether that’s a friend or a family member. It can make you feel less alone, and they might even have tips on what worked for them if it’s something they’ve gone through before.

“Be honest about how you’re feeling,” says Helen. “Your friends will be able to relate to a lot of it.”

How to look after yourself properly

It’s easy to ignore things like eating healthily or doing exercise… and instead turn to alcohol and eat your favourite junk food for short term joy.

But in the long term you’ll feel worse if you don’t take care of yourself, which is easy to do if you’re not feeling 100%. What you eat and drink can affect your mental health as well as your physical health. “Try to eat well and sleep well. Do the everyday things people forget about that are good for you,” says Helen.

We’ve got some tips on getting a balanced diet here.

Why does everyone else’s life look better than mine?

The simple answer to this is that very rarely is this the case. Everyone has their problems, it’s just not very often that people broadcast the negative parts of their life on social media – which means you’re continually scrolling through a picture perfect world that isn’t reflective of reality.

For example, it’s unlikely you’d take photos of yourself on the sofa, watching TV, surrounded by empty crisp packets and then upload them online, would you? Well, neither would anyone else.

In some ways your friends’ lives might seem better than yours, but really they’re just different, they might even be worse. They could be struggling themselves. Even when some people outwardly seem to have everything they want, they can still be really unhappy. There’s no point comparing yourself to other people because you’ll always be different, and they’ll always be hiding the worst bits.

If you’re in a really low mood, we suggest stepping away from the social news feeds. You’ll just end up unfavourably comparing again and it’ll only make you feel worse.

Read about how to protect your mental health online.

What can I do if life isn’t turning out how I planned?

It’s completely understandable that you’ll feel down if you’ve been pouring a lot of effort into your goals, but they never quite become reality. It can be incredibly disheartening, and can make you feel that there’s no point in trying at all.

  • Set yourself realistic, short term goals – remember though, you don’t have to achieve them all right now
  • Be proud of the things you have achieved, rather than focusing on the things you haven’t
  • Think about the qualifications you’ve bagged, the friends you’ve made, the places you’ve been and things you’ve done
  • Most of all, be kind to yourself – nobody has their entire life figured out (even though it can look that way), and you’re not stupid or weak for not knowing either
  • You’ve probably lived a lot more than you think, and you may well be that person that someone else sees as having it all together!

For more help looking after yourself

If you’re under 25 and would like free confidential telephone counselling from The Mix to help you figure things out, complete this form and we’ll call you to arrange your first session. Our Crisis Messenger also provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK. If you’re aged 25 or under, you can text THEMIX to 85258

  • C.A.L.M (Campaign Against Living Miserably) is a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide. They have lots of information on their website and run a helpline from five to midnight. 0800 58 58 58
  • Anyone can contact the Samaritans on their 24-hour helpline to talk things through. 116 123
  • Chat about this subject on our discussion boards.

Next Steps

By Holly Turner

Updated on 12-Apr-2023